More Clippers drama continues to unravel after their disappointing playoff exit. Shams Charania reports that several Clippers players were shocked by Doc Rivers’ tactics.
Among the bewildering aspects of the Clippers’ series loss from 3-1 up to the Nuggets was Doc Rivers’ refusal to adapt his lineups to the need of the hour.
Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams continued to get chance after chance despite underperforming. On the other hand, Reggie Jackson and JaMychal Green saw little floor time despite no fault of theirs.
Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell underperformed
The extent to which Sixth Man of the Year contender Lou Williams and eventual winner Montrezl Harrell underperformed cannot be overstated.
Doc Rivers blew a 3-1 lead in three decades and is the only coach to blow multiple 3-1 leads in NBA history.
∙ 2020 vs. Nuggets
∙ 2015 vs. Rockets
∙ 2003 vs. Pistons pic.twitter.com/6hAlxMIrhn
— ESPN (@espn) September 16, 2020
The duo comprised of the major scoring punch from the Clippers bench during the regular season. Neither of them got going in the bubble, however, despite getting chance after chance.
Doc Rivers’ tactics vs Nikola Jokic questioned by Clippers players
The chances for Lou and Trezz came at the expense of some deserving performers. Reggie Jackson had shot over 50% from the 3-point line in their first round series against the Mavs.
JaMychal Green had fared much better against Jokic and Porzingis in the limited game time he got. But neither were considered major parts of the rotation by Rivers.
There were many rumours emerging from the locker room after the Clippers’ exit that Rivers’ tendency to play favorites had cost them in terms of both results and team chemistry.
This has now been confirmed in a report by Athletic, wherein several players were bewildered by Doc Rivers’ tactics, especially on how he chose not to go big vs Nikola Jokic.
Rivers also should face a ton of flak for not keeping Paul George and Kawhi Leonard in for longer spells in must-win Games 6 & 7.
The road ahead for Steve Ballmer’s franchise is uncertain. The Clippers have no draft capital to add talent and will have to rely solely on free agency.